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America 15, Us 8, Ali 7, United States 6, U.s. 6, Obama 6, Canada 4, Vancouver 4, China 3, Europe 3, Clinton 3, Chrysler 3, The Economy 2, Economy 2, Washington 2, Rosanne 2, Florida 2, Diane 2, Steven Ratner 2, Nicholas 1,
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  CNN    Your Money    News/Business.  

    September 12, 2010
    3:00 - 4:00pm EDT  

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>> if this was all about money and we wanted money, we would have taken dea offered to us decades ago for st. nicholas and moved somewhere else. it's never been about money. >> what is it about? >> it's about building on or near our original site, the birthright st. nicholas has to go back to that site where it was for 85 years prior to 9/11. >> reporter: the port of authority says the church has always had the right to build on the original site, but at this point, work would have to be arted in 2015. sai st. nicholas is hoping something coop worked out before then. we'll have the latest details including iran's latest demand coming up at 4:00 eastern. and at 5:00 eastern, farm workers held as slaves where? in the united states.
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i'm fredricka whitfield. your money starts now. president obama has a massive w plan to jump-start the economy. will it work? i'm ali. christine is off this week. obama is proposing billions of dollars of infrastructure money meant to besed for high-structure rail, building roads, the kind of money you see going to construction workers. $100 billion in an exnsion of tax credit to companies who invest money in research and devepment, and 200 billion as a new tax credit to companies who build physical plants, buildingor invest in equipment. let's go right to diane swan. she is chief economist. putting aside whether this can even get through congress before mid-term elections, is this too little too late, or could this actually work? >> the problem is thert lag tim,
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particularly on infrastructure projects, are so long that it won't do anything before the end of the year or even in 2011. maybe we'll see something by the end of 2011, but remember, much of the stimulus that was earmarked for infrastructure has not yet been spent. in fact, only 18 mibillion or 1 billion was actually spent. so we still have money in the pipeline d to to help the elficit when it won't do anything real soon sden help right n. >> there's been a lot of discussion, peter, in the last week. the white house was really determined to make sure people don't call this another stimulus. it's a lot of money, but is it a stimulus plan or is it not? >> it's not much of a stimulus plan at that, but basically it's a political move and they're wanting to change the name on what they do. but, you know, the infrastructure spending is $8 billion for each year for six
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years. the tax credit is merely an engs tension of something that's already in place, and the history of investment tax credits is simply not very good and the math ont is very much against small businesses. it's doubtful they will get any event spending money and they're the ones that need it most because they can't get credit from the banks. the big guys are sitting on $200 million. this is a political move. >> are de emocrats getting behi the president on the economy heading into the i mid-term? i know there has been some debate amongst democrats just this past week about whether or not they want to support this 5 has announced? >> look, democrats here in washington, ali, understand the fact that this isn't going to y' work. what they're trying to tell stheir constituents back home i that this is a long-term plan. we even heard the president say that in an interview this week. look, the economy is in shambles, democrats are in a lot of trouble and we are seeing some democrats not backing the
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president, including marquartz in pennsylvania. he doesn't want to see any more spend gs. there is a lot of concern about the defit. republicans have been very successful pushing that point, ali. >> we're going to talk about tax cuts if they're made, which is are most effective to be made. this will push right back around to extending the bush tax cuts that are set to expire this year ask maybe cutting taxes elsewhere. in this economy where we have a sputtering economy and we have a big debt, are tax cuts the right thing to be talking about right now? >> actually, that's one of the things i am in favor of, expanding the tax cuts. i don't want to add insult to injury into the head winds of what are going to be major tax increases at the state and local level. however, not all taxeq cuts are equal and that's something to be debated. i'm not sure we can be that granular at this stage of the
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game given the economy. this is something the government can do. it's important to stem the tide of head winds that we face going into 2011. >> seom news that we got on friday, and that is austin goldsby is replacing on the economic adviser. goolsbee is being put into a new jo tim geithner, larry summers, most of the team is sticking around. pered, the president is staying within his inner circle to replace christina romer. are yosurprised? is it going to change anything for us? >> i don't think it's going to change. summers is the point man on economics an goolsbee is in economics. they won't look to him for new ideas. the "new york times" wants a liberal agenda.
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goolsbee will paint this to last the election, but unl there is a change in the political side, that is, the people who advise the president politically, there won't be changes in what this administration does. >> what's the buzz about martin goolsbee? >> i think peter is right. we're not gocoing to see a chan in economic policy. thic're folling through on econom policies. what's amazing, ali, that's where the president's approval rating, which is now about 50% in a cnn research opinion poll, but of course has dipped below that, the presidente hasn't don anything he didn't tell people he was going to do back on theg campaign trailn 2007-2008. the problem is the economy is in the tank and we have a lotop o people unemployed. >> you hit on something very interesting, diane. nobody is going to go innd suggest he lied or didn't keep promes. he kept all his promises. ot didn't work the way they
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wanted or hasn't worked as effectively or quickly they would have liked for it to work. in other words, if this economy had started more robust economy this summer, the democrats would be in a better position heading into the election. >> the bottom line sat tehh end of the day, whinoever is sittin the presidential seat gets the blame for the economy and has to take rponsibility for fixing it. whether or not they can or not is another issue. i think it's unfair to say that all of what has been done so far, and i'm taking everything from the fed, the t.a.r.p., the treasury to the imulus has not done anything. what this president overpromised in hopes that the economy would recover more is that we could get the privatector to move a little faster and get the economy to move a little faster on its own, and that just hasn't happened. coming up next, one party has an edgegoing into november's mid-term elections
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i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah. if you've been following this mid-term campaign the way we have here on cnn, you'll hear
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the democrats say they're the party of no. let's take a look at the most recent cnn opinion political poll about where tt ng stand. when it comes to the economy, which party can do a better job with the economy? republicans garnered 46%, democrats 43%. on taxes, 46% say republicans as opposed to 43% with the democrats. on the deficit, 46% of republicans, 40% saying democrats could do a better job. with democrats controlling the white house, unemployment remaining high, so much not good right now, mark. do republicans benefit by not being the party in power, not being the party you can blame? >> if the republicans can take back the house of representatives, take back the senate, b it's not going to be
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because they offered any great y ideas. i'm sure my republican friends will be upset whenbe they see ts and they'll be calling me, but the fact of the matter is they haven't put out any comprehensive plan. in the next couple weeks, republicans say they're going to release a new quote, unquote contract with america, similar to when newt gingrich but out a blueprint. right now they seem to be doing okay without doing much. >> your views could be cat gorized sometes as conserve tifr, b acti, but i thinyou're a guy who looks at things to be looked at. is it better just to keep your pattern dry and let this thing play out? >> it mightet them seats but not the majority. i don't know that they can win this thing without ay plan. what could they really do that would help? it's what president obama hasn't
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done that he's promised, which is fix the trade deficit with china. that's the only thing that will really turn this economy around and do something for the region banks that still spent some t.a.r.p. money. they'll promise to do something about the health care bill, but there's little they can do with obama in the white house since they won't have a veto-proof congress. >>et's talk about unemployment. we had an unemployment number for the month of august, which, though it was pbad, had some he that we grew private sector jobs even though we lost an awful lot of government jobs. then we saw the bfirst-time jobless benefit numbers on thursday for last week, and they were actually subsntially better than people had expected. 451,000 people filed or unemoyment benefits. that was fewer than we expected. it was still more than we would have liked. is there something going on in terms of private sector hiringa that might be a bright spot?
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>> the only bright spot you can really find in private sector hiring is actually where the myth is, that large corporations with an'll the money aren't hiring. they actually are hiring. it's small businesses that are the backbone of hiring in the u.s. that has sort of taken it on the chin. they have big cuts in firing and haven't stepped up to the plate in hiring again, and that's where we're missing a lot. haven't talked about fore closure. it takes a bank 14o months to close, and one said, instead of paying your mortgage, why don't you just let your house fall into foreclosure? i think that's sad with what's happening in the housing market, which led to the great depth of a major depression and is certainly at the heart of the
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economy right now. >> what's the thing that's going to turn the economy around? what has to happen? lots of people talk about jobs. you're a regular on shothe show and youe say it's often we have to talkbout the trade deficit.of every one of our viewers understands job and job losses. the trade deficit is a little bit trickier. that's the difference between what we sell to other countries, what we export, and what we import. this week we got numbers on the trade deficit that was surprisily better as well. what's your take on that? >> a lot of that was a big boost in commercial aviation sales, boeing's, for example. they could go right back down next month. imports are falling off not because foreign countries areom becoming more competitive and selling more but because americans are spending less. it's another leading indicator that the third quarter could be pretty poor in terms of economic growth and could even turn negative, though none of us e quite forecasting that yet. >> mark, let me ask you this. if these polls that we're looking at hold, and they have
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be facial steady recently, is president obama going to be forced to embrace republican economic policies if they control the house and the senate? >> well, some say clinton did, and in many ways he did in his second tm of office when, of course, theep republican wave swept through in '94. president obama has really got to be looking forward to 2012, ali. he's on the ticketin 2012, he has to run for reelection. so there might be some kind of shift correction, so to speak, in order to break policy. but he needs much help he can in cngress to get things through. he barely got the health care bill through, and that's when he held a democratic majority. it will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple years whether or not democrats hold onto congress or not hold onto congre, but we certainly won't see as many proposals passing through congress moving forward. >> good discussion. we'll keep on following this through the mid-terms and
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beyond. diane accident than diane, thanks for being with us. we talk so much about what should happen with taxes. we're putting aside the politics for a few moments. we're going to explain what you need to know about the future of your taxes when we come back. you get the option . to name your price. is that even possible? uh, absolutely. trade? d i still get great service? more like super great. oh, you have a message. i'll be here all week. i will -- that was my schedule. the freedom to name your price. now, that's progressive. call or clictoday. words alone aren't enough. our job is to listen and find ways to help workers who lost their jobs to the spill i'm iris cross. we'll keep restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. ai we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion
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independently-run claims fund. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right.
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we try to do this as much as possible on this show. let's strip away the debate on tax cuts and look at how they're supposed to work in theory. i want to start with small businesses. let's just put this up here. i've used a pizza shop as an example of a small business. let's say this small business got a tax cut. therare two ways in which that money can make its way into the economy and befit the economy. the topine there is that they can hire more people with the money they save in paying taxes. those people end up having me money in their pockets, they end up spending and that's how that prosperity starts. here's the other way they can do it. instead of hiring people, they might buythings. they might build a , new restaurant, a new pizza joint,
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and that may use construction workers, so they might buy stuff for the restaurant. new ovens and things like that and that will keep some railer or nuwholesaler or manufacturern business. those peoe will have more money to spend and therefore that stimulates the enomy. that's in theory how that might work. i want to go through some other ones but first i'm bringing in rosanne artshuler. do you think in theory something like that would work? >> in theory, i think somethin like this would work. the problem with the economy is a weakness in demand. people aren't spending money. there's no demand for the products. so if another businessperson says, yes, if the price of investing goes down, i'm going
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to consider investing. but i'm not necessarily going to invest if i don't think i'm going to be able to sell what i ke. >> so if you don't make more, people will not be coming into your restaurant the senior writer for tcnn.com also follows tax issues for cnn.com. there are a couple issues here, jean. many small businesses in this country who have to go to ban like you and i mig to get a loan are strugglingo t get loans from those banks, sohat sort of factors into this as well. >> right, it's hard for me to make a capital investment if i don't have the money and i'm likely to need a loan to do that, unless i'm sitting on a bunch of cash in which this recession has not hurt me that much. there is a senate bill they hope to take up next week. there's been aott. of stalling on it. president obama is pushing for it. it would boost banks to makbu loans to small businesses. we'll see how it goe >> there are a lot of people getting out on the streets and fighting for bigger tax breaks to corporations, but there are
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people who point out those are important. let's see how this plays out theoretically for large corporations. let's take a company that specializes in medical equipment. that company then gets a tax break ask there's two ways that can make its way into the economy. the top line is that they spend on stuff. just like the pizza place would, they might bu a new plant, they might buy more stuff. the companies benefit from that, hiring more people, spending more and gooboosting the econom little bit. or they can just hire more people if they're spending less money on tax and those people can go out and spend. rosanne, let me stt with you. there are corporations in america right now which areth hoarding cash. they've got lots of money, but because of what you just said about the small business not expanding unless they think there's more demand, it's the same story for corporate america, is it not? >> we've got the exact same story. they're eyarding cash.
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they'rnot sure they want to invest. in fact, they might have equipment sitting around doing nothing, it's just idle. so in they, putting money into a machine or any equipment should stimulate invesent, but they have to ask, do i want to do this? do want to do this now? the provisions obama is taing about, the spending provision, would expire in 2011. so that gives me a lot of time to think what i want to do with this investment? i might i'm not sure, i'm going to wait a little bit. of the $350 billion that president obama announced this week t $100 billion would be an extension ofa tax break for consumers and the other would be if you buy equipmentor build more plant, the economy is still going to dictate what companies
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make those oupurchases. let's talk about tax cuts for us, average americans. how does that money flow through the economy and encourage spending? this is the o that everybody thinks should stay in place. pretty obvious. that graphicidn't need to be too complicated, did it, jean? >> it's pretty clear. i don't have a lot of money. if you raise my taxes, i'll have even less. so if you keep my tax cuts in place, i know i can still continue to spend as i've been doing. it's not like if they keep the tax cuts, we'll see a big change. in fact, it will be status quo like it has been the last several years. >> we're using the words tax cut, but we mean keeping the taxes where they are and not making them higher than they are. >> the tax cuts are scheduled to expire, so it's keeping it ahead of where it would be. >> absolute conntion. the top one or two percent of americans. wealthy s americans. the bottom line is the same as
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everybody else. you give people the tax break, they spend it. the top line, and that's a little dangerous for the economy, you get wealthy people who don't need spend the income on day-to-day needs. they may save it. the middle one is where it gets interesting. maybe they'll invest it in a start-upusiness which pays a bett return than a well established company. they get to hire people, those people they hire then end up spending money. rosanne, if it were to work, that would be lovely. >>ul that would be lovely. and the question here is what kind of bang for the buck do you get when you give wealthy people more money? and as you said, a lot of them are just going to save it. okay, so let's say they save it and that goes into investment. i can't guarantee to you that they're going to invest in u.s. companies. >> right, and you can't guarantee that any of us will these days because theworld is our oyster and we know growth in other places is often stronger than it will be in the u.s.
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thank you, both, for giving us politics-free explanations for what we're talking about now. rosann university of rutgerz. > let's putthe ball back in this constitution a minute. what the debate over taxes coul struggle and to you, when we come back.
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sometimes it's a silly thing to do, to take the politics out of a discussion about politics. where do republicans and democrats stand on this issue? hois going to affect mid-term elections. professor from the american school of business. mark is editor. we're heading into mid-term elections. who is scoring more points on the tax cut debate rig now? >> clearly thet republicans ar right now, because at a time when we have employment at 10%,
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on economic issues, republicans are going to win. when you talk about republicans saying we're going to take away these tax cuts, that's going to hurt democrats, and democrats are very concerned about that heading into november. >> the other thing is letting the bush tax cuts expire, particularly for the rich because no one is arguing they should eeir for the middle class. let's listen to the president talk about these tax cuts -- cutting these tax cuts for the rich. listen to this. >> folks claim that our approach would be somehow bad for growth and bad for small businesses, let me remind you that with those tax rates in place under president clinton, country created 22 million jobs and raised incomes and had the largest surplus in r history. >> so, peter, i think the president scores a couple points
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by making that particular alogy, saying we're going back to the tax rates that were in place under prident clinton and those were very prosperous times. cthourse, he wasn't dealing with the greatest financial crisis since the great depression. l this out for me. is it okay what the pres?ident s saying? is it really going to hurt us to eliminate those tax breaks, in other words, increase the rate of taxes that the richest in america pay? >> first of all, it's not the people that are making two and three and four million dollars a year that i'm worried about. it's all those small business where they netted out 250,000, 500,000, where two people work together and their business is an asset. cutting tax rates lkfor those fos above 250,000 raises 50% the taxes on the small business income in america. mr.eobama, this is not the 1990s boand the high tech boom. this is a tough economy.
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raising those taxes on those small businesses wouldat negate anything else that he would want to do. >> mark, this really comes down to whether or not you think raising xes or eliminating those bush tax cuts is going to be worse for or better for the economy. a and again, one of the difficulties we have seen in the campaign, particularly in the last week, is that president obama and people running for election this mid-term are not necessarily on the same page about this. i'm talking about democrats. >> no, they're not, and that's because president obama doesn't play the same in every state and every district acros s the country. rtainly in the more conservative districts, perhs in the south, maybe a little out west, you'll have democrats that will agree with president obama's plan. look, at this point it's almost every man for himself heading into novembe you have democrats who need to get reelected, and if they need to cut the president loose, if they need to criticize him, they're going to criticize him. >> republicans don't have that problem at the moment, mark.
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>> no, because they're not in power. they can just let democrats keep on talking and talking and talking and hope that the voters don't like what they're hearing from democrats. >> peter, one of the things i like about having you on the show is you're not gifving in t hyp hyperbole. lots of people point back to ronald reagan cutting taxes. he had a lot more room to cut taxes than we do now. in other words, he cut taxes from a very high nominal rate to a lower nominal rate. we do not that again, so give me some perspectivein on what raisg or lowering taxes has done at a critical juncture in the u.s., in the economy at some point in the u.s. >> well, during the bush pe he entered into the recession as well, certainly not as severe. and cutting taxes did get the economy growing again. he cut taxes on a more or less permanent basis.
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granted, they're going to expire at the end of this year. president obama is offering some temporary credits that will offer big businesses andmall businesses breaks. temporary cuts don't work. >> may i ask you about that? >> look at cash for clunkers. a personal decision. we gave people a subsidy to buy cars, so it booste car sales temporarily and then they tanked. the whole history of investment tax credits going back to the kennedy administration i they accelerate temporary investment and then it falls off like a stone. what's more, business owners will not hire and invest if they don't see cusmer owners coming around the corner. and they simply don't see that right now. >> mark, the president invoking president clinton and wh happened with him in the same tax cuts. he made comparisons with
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president bush cutting taxes, he's up for kashlgtizations from obama. >> what president obama has to do right now is really appealouo a very small group of voters across the nation right now to help democrats. ali, this election is not going to be won. democrats might not be as enthused about the election. it's that middle of the road voter that needs to come out. and when you're talking about small business owners, probably by and lrge are unsure, ali. >> thank you very muntch. we'll continue our conversation with you. the great immigration debate, it all comes down to money. whthe debate on immigration is actually hurting our economy.
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you may think this issue of immigration is sort of a u.s.-cented debate and really shouldt affect anything else, but there is a school of thought hat the continued battle and vitral about immigration. earlier in the week, i spoke with richard florida. he's the author of "the great reset." we took a closerook at why. i want to tap into a conversation you've been having lately it's in your book, but thi idea that our fear oatfio immigratio this growing phobia of immigrants and what appears to be a negative impact on our economy is actually going to make america less competitive in the years ahead. aontversial thesis. tell me about it. >> well, immigrants have powered
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our economy since its inception, from the birth of the steel industry with andrew carnegie, a skotsman, to the rise of semiconductors by a guy named andy drovgrove, half of which t yahoos found that half of our comece and technology phds from foreign countries. we've been open to the best and brightest throughout the world and closing the door o immigration, or even mouthing nti-immigration sentiment isn't good because the people will stay home orer go elsewherek nd star t start the companies that we need for american growth. >> you've talked about canada -- and let's not sugarcoat it, it's
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not like canada doesn't think there are views with immigratio-- butad canada has ne things this ways you thin are more welcoming. >> people are screaming about this in arizona, and 50% of the work force and population is immigrants. in the united states, the city with the highest amount of immigrants is miami. it's about 35%. in washington and vancouver, virtually half the people are immigrants or what we call in canada new canadians. there are problems in canada, but the problem is should the immigrant driving a cab but has a degree in law or health care be able to use the to boost the economy. when microsoft had to build a new laboratory, they said they couldn't get the skilled people. they put that lab in vancouver,
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t because they needed people from vancouver, but they could bring peop from asia, f europe, put that visa in place and jobs that should have been in seattle ended up in vancouver because of restrictions put on imgrants in theu.s.go >> there is a discussion going on in america which may or may not be tied to the sentiment we have about immigrants, and it is about the growing sentiment we have about muslims in america. do you foresee in your data driven world evident that that hurts us in any y? >> i think so. what i found was when there is prejudice against any ethnic group, it kills the climate for unitednts to come to the states. i think that climate has been chilling now since 9/11, so i'm finding a lot of talented people that would have come to thest united states are staying home,
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or they're going where they're welcomed or coming to china where they feel more welcome. also, in this time of crises, these are the time when the global flow of ambition in people shifts. one of the things that really benefited in the last crisis in the 1930s, we have attracted all the jewish americans who helped track our windustries. this is tothe worst time to hav an anti-islamic sentiment or anti-immigrant sentimegent in general, because it's going to hurt the economy at the time we need job creation the most. >> very interesting stuff. richard florida's book called gr "the great reset." worth picking up and reading. imagine this. the president of the united statesalls you up, sends a message to you asking you to help fix an american auto giant. imagine saying no to that. my conversation with a man who did just that and why he did it, coming up next. i didn't miss a premium payment for 10 years.
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the minute i got sick, i lost my insurance. not anymore. america's healthcare reforms change lives for the better. to find out how it can help you, visit us at americasfairhealthcare.org the most powerful half-ton crew in ameri has a powertrain backed for 100,000 miles. chevy silverado half-ton a consumers digest best buy and the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pikups on the road. now get 0% apr for 72 months on 2010 silverado half-ton models with an average finance savings around $5,600. to save me a boatload of money on my mortgage -- that would be awesome! [sarcastically] sure. like that will happen. don't just think about it.
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iaiaiaiabetes. and i'm worried if i lose my job, i won't be able to afford insurance. not anymore. america's healthcare reforms ch hange lives for the better. to see how it can help you, visit us at americasfairhealthcare.org president obama's former auto czar, steven ratner, just wrote a book, in it he confirms he asked carlosgone, t to lead those auto owners. goen actually resigned and
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suggested that the auto workers become part of the regional alliance. goen has been approached to work for ford, chrysler. i spoke to gone earlier this week. the obvious question. if this is true, what steven ratner says in his book, first of? all, is it true? and if it is, why did you say no. >> it is true rst i proposed again wh i believe in, that general motors should join the alliance and share the synergy that could erupt. he said he would not see this happening and he asked me to take the job with general motors and i declined. i declined for a very simple reason. as you know, we are in the very we've faced, and
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ian't quit. i am responsible forn nissan, ad when you are in the middle of a storm, you have to get the company out of the stt orm. >> tell me what you think, then. you have been invited in the past to join ford and run it. you've been invited to join chrysler. now chrler is owned b fiat. you were invited to join that, and now we find out you were invited tojoin general motors. what is the state of the united states? >> i think it is recovering slowly but surely. i think we're bette than we were two years ago. the recovery is not as strong as we would like it to be, but i think it is slowly getting there. ink this year the industry is going to be around 11.5 million cars, so it's up compared to last year, and i think 2011 will see another year
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of growth, so i'm reasonably optimistic we' getting out of a crisis >> let's talk about the leaf that we're boundo see end of this year, beginning of next year. do you think this is a real corner we're turning with the leaf and chevy bolt electric cars? do you think we'll be somewhere down the road where everybody is driving andem plugging them in wherever we go? >> think it's going to take a long time.10% of the total sales globally will be made by zero-emission cars, which are electric car for the moment. becae it requires a lot of investment, the technology is going to have to continue to develop a lot. there is today a very strongnd spontaneous demand for the electric car. we're going to start to mass market the leaf in september in the states and in japan. weave a lot of hand-raisers, we're very optimistic, but it's going to beo a long road for ths technology to be a developing technology. we're talking about 20 or 30
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years. >> listen, the reason i like talking about the automotive industry, is it's such apa majo part of american culture. it's a mor part of the american economy. so where is it headed? joining us from yonkers, new york, mike quincy, the auto specialist for "consumer reports." mike good to see you. where did we stand now in terms of the health of the u.s. auto industry? compare this to a year and a half ago when we really all thought it couldall off a cliff. >> right. you had the cashfor clunkers last year,hich certainly helped stimulate sales and clear out inventory. but after the bankruptcy proceedings with general motors and chrysler, i think you saw all of detroit cutting overhead, getting leaner, being real tight out production. and i think that has trickled down to the dealer level. where you don't see acres and acres of cars that the dealers can't sell. so then the automakers have to put up all of these incentives and thatu into their profit margin. so i think detroit is getting
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better at making more money selling fewer cars. >> we can put aside what it meerns for the industry and for dealers d for workers, which an important part of it. but in some ways, america is going to benefit, because we're seeing different cars, cars we didn't see, cars that make it moreinteresting to drive a fuel-efficient car. >> i think as mr. ghosn pointed out,t's going to be a long time before you see mass-produced electric cars. but when you seeth something li the volt coming out. ford is talking about their elat'sectr focus that's going t be out soon as well. it's at least a step in the right direction. but when you just conside the basic internal combustio engine, there's still a lot of efficiencies that the automakers can glean from there. so -- >> a couple of years ago, when you and i would talk about hybrid electric cars, the reality was we were talking about that compared to largely a fleet of not so efficient gas vehicles. whereas now that debate gets dulled a little bit by the fact that there are cool,
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european-style, small, highly-efficient cars coming into our market. >> "consumer reports" is in the middle of testing one of them, one is the ford fiesta, a european-designed car, that's in europe.l now it's in the united states. it's much me engaging to drive than the smaller american-built cars in the past 30 years, it has a real style and pan arch to it. you need gas to go aglot higher. >> my proders could deal with this, i was watching the nissa leaf commercial with the polar bear who just out therein just getting weathered out of its environment. are people buying these more fuel-efficient cars because of the threatf higher gas prices? is it an economic decision? or has it become cooler to do so? and are we more interested in the environment? he sales numbers
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that recently show that moreac people are going back to suvs, crossovers, pickup truck sales are up. i think -- >> huh? >> when gas is relatively cheap in the united states -- again we're nowhere near the fuel prices they have in europe and japan. when gas is cheap in the united states, americans tend to buy bigger vehicles. and i think that detroit is hedging their bets by producing better small cars, like the chevy cruise is coming out, one of their better small cars. but until the price of gas goes up, i don't thin you're going to see a lot of people buying these. >> we don't learn. >> america has short-term memory, very short. >> michael quincy is the automotive content specialist at "consumer reports." you want to see what's coming up next? happy thoughts about the economy. we'll tell you about it, next.
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as we often try to bring you on this tv show, we give you diversity about the opinion about the economy. not l is doom and gloom he it vemes tohe economy. i wa to leave you with some positive thoughts. every we ek we get a new report on the number of people who claim for first-time unemployment benefits the previous week. thisa week's number was lower than expected, 451,000. we need to get below 450, hofully before 400 before it starts to feel better. that's the lowest number we've seen since july. then there's the trade deficit. it is the difference between what we import and what we buy from other countries. what we export. usually we import a lot more than we export. the u.s. trade deficit dropped sharply last month again. unexpectedly due large to the fact that we're exporting record numbers of goods. now, as, as peter maurici
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pointed out, not everything about that number is good, either. but it's an indicator at least in the right direction. seoods we export by the way, farming products, things we farm in me america, are buying mover of what we grow. china is now the second-biggest buyer of what we produce on farms. and mergers and acquisitions. we've been seeing an uptick of companies buying other companies. and the dollar value. that's important,pe a sign that people who run the big companies, think that the ones they're buying areha trading f ss than they're worth. that they're a bargain and will become more valuable lat. that's an interesting sign. and we ep talking about the fact that manufacturing is down in america. but in the last month,au urin august, manufacturing was actually up not manufacturing jobs, although there was an increase in temporary work at manufacturg facilities. but manufacturing is up and that should follow when you compare it with the trade deficit. we've exporting more, mang a little bit more. there should be some jobs
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